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February 5, 2009

Weather Watch


Not only did we completely miss the snowstorm that affected the New York City area, the exceptionally dry weather pattern will continue right through most of next week, with no major storms anywhere in sight.

The arctic cold will be replaced by a February thaw this weekend, when it will really feel like early spring.

Once again, we’re getting another example of how a “reverse temperature anomaly” that brings unseasonably mild air to the northern Rockies and northern Great Plains, combined with an ocean storm that tracks well southeast of Nantucket, signals extremely dry and sunny weather in Otsego County.

January proved to be the coldest January in five years and the average minimum temperature was the lowest since January 1994, and we got over two feet of snow at our weather station in Otego, precipitation last month was actually only a little over half of normal. That’s because the jet stream has been diving southeastward from northern Canada, and very cold air contains very little moisture.

The weather pattern will change this week as far as temperatures are concerned, as we get into more of a zonal west to east flow aloft, and this will bring some of that very mild air across the Great Plains all the way to the Northeast by the weekend.

On Friday as a warm front crosses our region early in the morning, clouds will quickly give way to mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid to upper 30’s. In the mild southwesterly flow ahead of a storm system in the upper Midwest, skies will be partly sunny on Saturday, with highs from 42 to 47 degrees. As the low pressure trough approaches on Sunday, mild weather will continue, with highs from 45 to 50 degrees; skies will be partly sunny, and there’s the chance of spring-like rain showers in the late afternoon and evening.

Monday will bring a cooler northwesterly flow, but highs from 35 to 40 degrees is still above normal. Milder air will return on Tuesday, with partly sunny skies and the chance of rain showers; highs in the low 40’s.

Mark Hanok is an Otego based meteorologist.